It’s Ro-Sham-Bo Time

Ro-Sham-Bo time

Ro-Sham-Bo time

Anyone who’s watched South Park should know what Ro-Sham-Bo means.  If you don’t, then here’s your explanation.

In reality,  Ro-Sham-Bo is actually another name for “rock-paper-scissors”, which we all played when we were kids (or as adults, when deciding who’d be the designated driver, who’d take one for the team when you were out at a bar with a friend and there was the hot babe with her friend with the “great personality”, etc.).  I prefer to think of Ro-Sham-Bo, though, in the South Park way — a game that Cartman plays with Pip to determine the ownership of an item in the classic episode Mecha-Streisand.  (BTW, it looks as if all the episodes of South Park are now on-line at southparkstudios.com — Sweet!).

Cartman plays Ro-Sham-Bo like this:  one person kicks the other in the nuts as hard as they can, then the other person returns the favor.  Last one standing wins.  Oh, and Cartman always goes first, of course.

So what does this have to do with me?  In the fantasy baseball league I created in 1992, we started giving away a Ro-Sham-Bo award to the player each team owned that absolutely killed them over the course of the season.  Basically, it went to the player who each owner would rather have been kicked in the nuts instead of owning.

So I figured, why not use the award here as well?  Except here, I’ll be changing the rules a little.  The Ro-Sham-Bo Award will be given out weekly, and it’ll go to the person or entity who most deserves, in my humble opinion, to be kicked in the nuts (symbolically, if need be) due to their sheer idiocy, incompetence, arrogance, etc.  Consider it my own little contribution to pointing out the sad fact that our planet is sometimes home to some really stupid people (and things).

So without further interruption, let’s get this party started.  Our inaugural Ro-Sham-Bo loser winner is none other than Benard Madoff.

Madroff's investment plan

Madoff's "sure-fire" investment plan

I’m assuming everyone knows about Mr. Madoff and his Ponzi scheme that bilked his investors out of at least $50 billion.  I’m of a mixed mind about the people who got screwed by Madoff — from what I’ve read, they were largely people who had a large amount of money (it’s hard sometimes to be really sympathetic to people who’re investing more in one transaction then I might make in a year).  But that doesn’t mean they deserved to be ripped off, either.  It’s still an unfathomable, unjustifiable crime whether you’re scamming Donald Trump or Mother Theresa.

Nope, Madoff gets the award because his crime seems a fitting broad example of the greed and corruption that have permeated nearly every level of our society, nowhere more so than on Wall Street.  In arguably our country’s greatest economic challenge in my lifetime, with the abuses by financial institutions, inept and unethical corporations, and a complacent and enabling government that’s stood by and done nothing (does robbing your constituents to further you and your friends’ interests count as nothing?), Madoff stands as a poster boy for all that’s wrong with things now.

So, as nothing more than a symbol, Madoff is this week’s Ro-Sham-Bo recipient.  If he’d like to forward me a few million of his ill-gotten gains, I might even make a trophy and send it to him.

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